Chemistry is a central science that’s at the core of everything we can see, smell, taste and touch around us. From energy to the environment, groundbreaking medicine to cleaning products, chemistry is integral to all aspects of our life, which puts chemical scientists at the forefront of delivering invaluable solutions to global challenges.
The diverse nature of this field — and the widely transferable skills you’ll develop along the way — means chemistry graduates will always be highly sought after across a wide range of industries worldwide.
Studying chemistry at Leeds will enable you to understand the fundamental concepts of the field alongside a variety of optional modules available, so you can tailor your degree to what really interests you the most. You’ll also be taught by expert academics, with the unique opportunity to get involved in real-world research happening in the School.
Here at Leeds, we understand the importance this industry has in society today, which is why our courses are professionally accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), giving you the industry recognised qualification needed to pursue a career in this sector.
You’ll also have access to world-class research and specialist facilities right here on campus, alongside exciting opportunities like studying abroad and industrial work placements to ensure you have the best grounding to head out into your professional career.
Why study at Leeds:
- Take advantage of the School’s world-leading research, which shapes our courses across a wide range of areas and provides innovative R&D projects that impact many industrial sectors.
- Experience expertise teaching delivered by a programme team made up of academics and researchers at the forefront of the industry who specialise in a variety of chemistry disciplines.
- Put theory into practice, with access to our specialist facilities and laboratories that are fully equipped with the latest technology and research-grade equipment to provide a creative and stimulating learning environment.
- Enhance your career prospects and give your CV that competitive edge before you graduate with our paid industrial work placement in your third year. Our close industry links have given previous students the chance to work at — and build professional relationships with — major organisations such as GlaxoSmithKline, Unilever, Johnson Matthey and AkzoNobel.
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This degree is accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), meaning you’ll have the qualifications and skills you’ll need to succeed in industry upon graduation.
Accreditation of a university course by professional and statutory bodies is a mark of assurance that particular standards are met.
Graduating with an accredited integrated four-year Masters (MChem, BSc) degree provides access to qualified membership of the RSC and fully satisfies the academic requirements for the RSC’s award of Chartered Chemist (CChem).
On this course, you’ll discover how chemistry shapes the world around us, with a wide range of topics to explore. From quantum mechanics to planetary atmospheres, making organic chemicals to developing medicinal drugs — the scope is huge, giving you the chance to really hone in your interests.
Discovery modules are available in all years of your degree, as long as you are taking enough credits of your own subject for that year.
As well as your studies, this programme offers you the chance to head out into the working world and gain an invaluable year of experience, skills and knowledge working in industry.
During your first year you’ll explore the fundamental principles that underpin chemistry.
At the end of year one, our flexible degree structure offers you the opportunity to transfer onto our degree courses in medicinal chemistry.
In your second year you will build upon these foundations and cover a wide range of different aspects of chemistry, while taking opportunities to conduct your own research.
All of the theoretical modules are backed up by extensive practical sessions in the laboratory, allowing you to perform experiments that reinforce the material taught to you in the lectures. In addition, small tutorial groups are used to support the teaching, so you get regular feedback from the academic staff helping you solve any problems that you might have with a particular topic.
As you advance through the course, you can select which modules you study in order to explore advanced topics in more detail. You can investigate how chemists use their skills to:
Understand complex biological systems
Synthesise molecules in just one of two mirror image forms
Assemble large molecular architectures with supramolecular chemistry
Discover new catalysts which improve the efficiency of chemical transformations
Understand human interaction with the climate through atmospheric chemistry
You will spend the third year of your degree undertaking a 12 month industrial placement.
In your final year, you will undertake a research project, which gives you the opportunity to follow your interests and investigate a topic at the cutting-edge of chemistry. You’ll work collaboratively with your supervisors throughout the project, who’ll be experts in your particular research area.
Recent projects include:
Energy transport in photosynthesis
Third generation drug discovery: human-on-a-chip
Discovery of drugs and biomarkers for cancer therapy
Re-engineering bacterial toxins for drug delivery
Developing novel inhibitors for bacteria toxins via DNA nanotechnology
Biosensors for point-of-care detection of bowel diseases
The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.
Year 1 compulsory modules
|Chemistry 1: Bonding and Behaviour||20|
|Chemistry 2: Energy, Structure and Transformation||30|
|Chemistry: The Interdisciplinary Science||10|
|Practical, Professional and Research Skills for Chemists||40|
Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
|Foundation Engineering Physics||10|
|Mathematics for Chemists||10|
|The Extraordinary Chemistry of Everyday Life||10|
|Science & Society: An Ethical View||10|
Year 2 compulsory modules
|Structure and Synthesis of Materials||10|
|Organic Chemistry: Conformation, Configuration & Reactivity||10|
|Chemical Kinetics and Thermodynamics||10|
|Structure and Spectroscopy||10|
|Organometallic Compounds and their Applications||10|
|Organic Chemistry: Introduction to Pericyclic, Heterocyclic and Bioorganic Chemistry||10|
|Quantum Mechanics and Bonding||10|
|Analytical and Applied Chemistry||10|
|Further Practical and Research Skills for Chemists||30|
Year 2 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
|Science and Society: The Critical Interface||10|
|Chemistry: Idea to Market||10|
Year 3 compulsory modules
|Distance Learning for Year in Industry||30|
|Industrial Placement for Integrated Masters Students||90|
Year 4 compulsory modules
|Laboratory-based Project Work 6M||60|
|Advanced Topics in Chemistry 60 Credit||60|
Throughout your degree you will benefit from a range of opportunities to expand your intellectual horizons outside or within your subject area.
This course gives you the opportunity to choose from a range of discovery modules. They’re a great way to tailor your study around your interests or career aspirations and help you stand out from the crowd when you graduate. Find out more about discovery modules on our Broadening webpages.
Learning and teaching
As a chemistry student at Leeds we ensure that you benefit from a wide range of teaching methods, including lectures, workshops, small group tutorials and practical lab work.
Laboratory classes and project work allows you to gain first-hand experience investigating and applying material from your lectures and tutorials to real life work situations. Together, they will equip you with in-depth knowledge, key practical skills and transferable skills that will help you secure a graduate job. Our close links with industry also mean that you have direct contact with industry and potential employers from an early stage in your course.
You’ll be assigned a personal tutor to guide you through your studies, and you will receive support from fellow students through our peer mentoring scheme. Peer mentors are students who are on your course, but are in Years two, three or four. They’ll help you when you arrive at University and throughout your first year. You’ll meet your peer mentors during your first week for a social activity.
Our Virtual Learning Environment will help to support your studies: it’s a central place where you can find all the information and resources for the School, your programme and modules.
You can also benefit from support to develop your academic skills, within the curriculum and through online resources, workshops, one-to-one appointments and drop-in sessions.
Watch our taster lectures to get a flavour of what it’s like to study at Leeds:
- Transition metal chemistry: controlling nanosized metallo-cages
- How do Reactions Behave in Very Cold Environments? A Journey from Earth to Deep Space
On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.
The types of assessment used for each module aim to measure the learning outcomes we want you to achieve. Although formal end-of-semester examinations are predominant, often accounting for 80% or more of the formal assessment, many modules include a significant coursework element. You are also continuously assessed through practical work.
A-level: AAB including Chemistry
Where an A-Level science subject is taken, we require a pass in the practical science element, alongside the achievement of the A-Level at the stated grade.
Excludes A-Level General Studies or Critical Thinking.
Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) and International Project Qualification (IPQ): We recognise the value of these qualifications and the effort and enthusiasm that applicants put into them, and where an applicant offers an A in the EPQ or IPQ we may make an offer of ABB at A-Level.
GCSE: English Language grade C (4), or an equivalent English language qualification, and Mathematics grade B (6). We will accept Level 2 Functional Skills English in lieu of GCSE English.
Access to HE Diploma
Pass 60 credits overall with 45 credits at Level 3, 30 credits with Distinction and the remaining 15 credits with Merit or above. Must contain a significant number of Chemistry and Mathematics modules.
DDD with a significant number of Chemical and Scientific Modules
D2 M2 M2 in 3 principal subjects including Chemistry
35 points overall with 16 at Higher Level including 6 in Higher Level Chemistry
Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)
H2 H2 H2 H2 H3 H3 including Higher Level Chemistry
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers
Suitable combinations of Scottish Higher and Advanced Highers are acceptable, though Chemistry must be presented at Advanced Higher level.Typically A at Advanced Higher Level and AABBB at Higher Level
Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the Schools Undergraduate Admissions Team.
Were committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.
Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.
Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.
Typical Access to Leeds A Level offer: BBB including Chemistry and pass Access to Leeds. For alternative qualification offers please contact the admissions team.
If you do not have the formal qualifications for immediate entry to one of our degrees, you may be able to progress through a foundation year. We offer a Studies in Science with Foundation Year BSc for students without a science background at A-level and an Interdisciplinary Science with Foundation Year BSc for applicants who meet specific widening participation criteria.
International Foundation Year
International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.
English language requirements
IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in any one component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.
Improve your English
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.
UK: £9,250 (per year)
International: £27,500 (per year)
Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will remain capped at £9,250 for 2023/24 and 2024/25. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation only as a consequence of future changes in Government legislation and as permitted by law.
Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for international students for 2023/24 and 2024/25 are available on individual course pages.
Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.
Read more about paying fees and charges.
There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs.
Scholarships and financial support
If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.
Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.
We may consider applications submitted after the deadline. Availability of courses in UCAS Extra will be detailed on UCAS at the appropriate stage in the cycle.
Read our guidance about applying and writing your personal statement.
International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.
Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.
This course is taught by
School of Chemistry Undergraduate Admissions
The employment opportunities available to you as a chemistry graduate are extensive across numerous industries, with the potential to take you all over the world.
The chemistry programmes here at Leeds have also been professionally accredited by the Royal School of Chemistry (RSC) and University of Leeds students are among the top five most targeted by top employers according to The Graduate Market 2022, High Fliers Research, meaning our graduates are highly sought after by some of the most reputable companies in the field.
Qualifying with a degree in chemistry from Leeds will set you up with the core foundations you need to pursue an exciting career in a wide range of sectors, including:
- Food and drink
- Engineering and manufacturing
- Scientific research and development
The breadth of knowledge and experience, along with the teamwork, problem-solving, research, communication and IT skills taught on the course are widely transferable and desirable to a whole host of employers.
Here’s an insight into the job roles some of our chemistry graduates have obtained:
- Business Improvement Manager, EDF Energy
- Station Chemist, ENGIE
- Senior Research Scientist, AstraZeneca
- Process Technologist, GlaxoSmithKline
- Business Analyst, Allianz Insurance PLC
- Global Business Manager for Collateral & Network, Morgan Stanley
- Senior Formulation Chemist, Syngenta
- Information Advisor, Shell Projects & Technology
Food and drink:
- Quality Supervisor, Britvic Soft Drinks Ltd
- Product Development, Heinz
Engineering and manufacturing:
- Principal Scientist, Johnson Matthey
- Coverage & Transmission Engineer, Vodafone
- IT Consultant, Fujitsu
- Head of Commercial Operations, British Telecom
- Chemistry Lecturer, Imperial College London
- Assistant Professor, Yale University
- Biomedical Scientist, Derriford Hospital
- Doctor, NHS
Research and Development:
- Programme Manager, Institute of Cancer Research
- Research Scientist, Plant and Food Research
- Solicitor, Beachcroft LLP
- Chief Executive Officer, Protection of Human Rights in Public Law
Read profiles of our alumni to find out more about where some of our graduates are working.
At Leeds we help you to prepare for your future from day one. Our Leeds for Life initiative is designed to help you develop and demonstrate the skills and experience you need for when you graduate. We will help you to access opportunities across the University and record your key achievements so you are able to articulate them clearly and confidently.
You will be supported throughout your studies by our dedicated Employability team, who will provide you with specialist support and advice to help you find relevant work experience, internships and industrial placements, as well as graduate positions. You’ll benefit from timetabled employability sessions, support during internships and placements, and presentations and workshops delivered by employers.
You will also have full access to the University’s Careers Centre, which is one of the largest in the country.
Visit our Careers and employability page to find out more.
Study abroad and work placements
The graduate recruitment market is highly competitive so it’s important that you stand out. An industrial placement could be the opportunity you need to impress potential employers and improve your chances of securing the career you want.
Benefits of a work placement year:
- 100+ organisations to choose from, both in the UK and overseas
- All placements are salaried
- Build industry contacts within your chosen field
- Our close industry links mean you’ll be in direct contact with potential employers
- Advance your experience and skills by putting the course teachings into practice
- Gain invaluable insight into working as a professional in this industry
- Improve your employability
As this year replaces your third year of study, you will be required to complete 30 credits of distance learning coursework. You will complete the final year of your MChem degree at Leeds.
You will be able to choose from a range of pharmaceutical, energy, fine chemical, colour, polymer and other chemistry-related industries in which to work.
With the help and support of our dedicated Employability team, you can find the right placement to suit you and your future career goals.
During your industrial placement, you will have an industrial supervisor from within the company, plus an academic supervisor who will keep in touch throughout your placement.
Here are some examples of placements our students have recently completed:
- Analytical Chemistry Industrial Placement, GlaxoSmithKline
- 12-month Industrial Placement, AkzoNobel
- Emission Technology Placement, Johnson Matthey
- Strepsils Analytical Assistant, Reckitt Benckiser
- Student Placement, Unilever
- Junior Analyst, Jarmany
Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.
Rankings and awards
Alumni profile: Jasmine Greenhalgh
The great thing about the School of Chemistry is the staff. Everyone is always happy to help and support is always available.Find out more about Jasmine Greenhalgh's time at Leeds